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Dev Biol. 2010 Dec 1;348(1):58-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Wnt signaling controls the stem cell-like asymmetric division of the epithelial seam cells during C. elegans larval development.

Abstract

Metazoan stem cells repopulate tissues during adult life by dividing asymmetrically to generate another stem cell and a cell that terminally differentiates. Wnt signaling regulates the division pattern of stem cells in flies and vertebrates. While the short-lived nematode C. elegans has no adult somatic stem cells, the lateral epithelial seam cells divide in a stem cell-like manner in each larval stage, usually generating a posterior daughter that retains the seam cell fate and an anterior daughter that terminally differentiates. We show that while wild-type adult animals have 16 seam cells per side, animals with reduced function of the TCF homolog POP-1 have as many as 67 seam cells, and animals with reduced function of the β-catenins SYS-1 and WRM-1 have as few as three. Analysis of seam cell division patterns showed alterations in their stem cell-like divisions in the L2-L4 stages: reduced Wnt signaling caused both daughters to adopt non-seam fates, while activated Wnt signaling caused both daughters to adopt the seam fate. Therefore, our results indicate that Wnt signaling globally regulates the asymmetric, stem cell-like division of most or all somatic seam cells during C. elegans larval development, and that Wnt pathway regulation of stem cell-like behavior is conserved in nematodes.

PMID:
20849842
PMCID:
PMC2976807
DOI:
10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.09.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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